Hot Lists Sunday, May 1st Words by: Adam Knight

How To Not P--s Off Your Bartender

Hot Lists Sunday, May 1st

How To Not P--s Off Your Bartender

This month we dive headfirst in to the murky world of bars and bar protocol, finding out from Herefordshire's finest How To Not Piss Off your bartender.

IMG 9568edited

There was a time and a place (namely the 70's and Glasgow) when everyone went to the pub. Everyone. All the time.

That kind of habitual lifestyle gave birth to a set of well-worn rules, an instinctive etiquette that has since been forgotten by the Jaegerbomb generation.

While the red-trousered, weekend warrior waving around a 20 and shouting "Eight Tequilas" from the back of the queue is, at best, an infuriating intrusion into everyone's evening, it often falls on the bartender to police his behaviour.

We spoke to two such saints who have worked from Sydney to south-west London and between them have witnessed the full spectrum of drinking douchebaggery.

Aussie native Ray Velasquez is a big part of why the Firefly in Worcester has been the city’s best hangout for nearly a decade, and he's been in Hereford for the last few months setting up its sister pub.

Manning the pumps at the Hereford edition, which opened up on King St last week, is Lonan, a hooch-pusher so established on the city’s bar scene that he is known only by his first name and his beard.

This is their guide to getting served.


IMG 9562

Ray Velasquez (RV): "First up, know your surroundings - if you're in your local boozer, and the lady behind the bar reminds you of Peggy Mitchell, chances are they won't be doing cocktails. So don't ask for a Mojito. Ask for a vodka, lime and soda instead."

RV: "The bar staff generally know who's next. If you try and queue jump, expect to be relegated to the back of the line. Also regulars usually get a little priority. They are there everyday, so they do deserve that."


Lonan Bann-Murray (LBM): "Gin. Everyone’s a gin expert because they’ve had a Hendricks with cucumber in it. I could list the botanicals in the gins I serve, I could explain at length why lime would bring out the coriander in this one, lemon in that… Please don’t tell me ‘what goes better with what’ because you’ve been messing around with the salad draw at home."

RV: "Never say 'Surprise me' as a drinks order. Give us something to work with! What do you normally drink? What do you like? Did you want a beer, wine, sprit? Also, If you say surprise me, don't be surprised by the cost! (Although a good bartender will never take the mick)."

LBM: "Don’t reach over the bar and start pouring the beer straight into your mouth – there’s that... I'm serious. It happened when I was working in Aus. It was past closing time and this guy wanted a beer. I told him the situation – that I could sort him a packet of crisps but that’s the best I could do. I turned around to wipe down the fridges and the next thing I know he had leant backwards over the bar and had his head under tap. I don’t know how he bent that way. But I gave him a slap and the froth went everywhere."

IMG 9561edited

IMG 9563edited

IMG 9565edited

IMG 0973edited

RV: "Don't click, yell "oi!", or wave your notes or bang your change on the bar. We all know it's rude, so please don't.

"And, If it's last orders, it is last orders."

LBM: "If you’re ordering a round of drinks of the pumps, order them together. I’m not a child. I can pour more than one drink at a time.

"Also, I always try to leave my customers with more knowledge about their drink than when they walked up to bar. If you order a single malt and coke, please don't be offended if I suggest you that you don’t."

IMG 9564edited

LBR: "If you want to try something new, great. And bartenders are always happy to help advise. But don't order a cocktail with seven types of fruit in it, give me the sad eyes and then tell my 'it's a bit fruity'. Seriously, what did you expect. "

RV: "Lastly, be nice to your bartender. Chances are they have been dealing with a few idiots through out the evening. You can't understand how much more enjoyable it is to serve customers who are actually friendly."

For more info on the new Firefly in Hereford - and to find out where the beercan goes in a 'Beercan chicken' -  check out the pub's Facebook and Twitter pages.

Happy boozing, folks...


HerefordshireLive vertlogo

Herefordshire Live's How Not To series

People are idiots. They don’t mean to be, but they just are.

Every day your average Joe or Jolene will do somewhere between 20 and 700 little seemingly insignificant things that infuriate those around them.

The people who catch the full force of inadvertent ignorance are the patient saints in the service industry.

From barbers to baristas, these everyday heroes have to suck it up and smile. And then wait until you leave to curse you out like you just pissed in their pocket.

For this series we're seeking out Herefordshire’s finest and compiling ‘dos and don’ts’ guide to help make everyone’s life that little bit better.

How Not to Piss Off Your Barber, with Jimmy from Longhorn Barbers

This feature was originally published on May 6, 2016

Do you want to write for Herefordshire Live? Get in touch on Facebook, Twitter or say